Usually when old cinema complexes close in Central Florida, they stay closed. This has happened with a lot of the General Cinema screens, the Altamonte 8, AMC Fashion Village, and others. So when the Muvico Pointe Orlando 21 suddenly shut its doors a number of weeks ago (or was it months?), I certainly had no idea what its fate would be.
Years ago it was quite a nice multiplex, anchoring a shopping and dining area that also boasted Orlando’s only FAO Schwartz store (which of course my kids loved to browse in before a movie). The theater also housed Orlando’s only genuine IMAX facility, including the largest movie screen in Central Florida. Even after the IMAX equipment had been removed, they continued to show blockbusters on the big screen and promote it as such. I never bothered to make the trip down to I-Drive and check out one of these studio new releases on the huge screen, and I guess I wasn’t the only one–I started noticing theater ads promoting new, discounted prices for first run movies ($6 I think), a sure sign of desperation. A few weeks after that Muvico Pointe Orlando was no longer being listed in the newspaper time clock, and just like that they were gone.
But judging from print ads that have been appearing in the Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Weekly recently, Regal Cinemas has apparently bought the property and is preparing to reopen the complex as the “Pointe Orlando Stadium 20 + IMAX” on May 4. That’s good news, especially if they bring the IMAX equipment back and actually show new IMAX films and not just blown-up Hollywood movies on the monster screen. It’s been years since IMAX had an outlet for their productions in Orlando, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who will welcome their return. Now let’s see what happens…